La Feria News

All about Amaryllis


One of the showiest bulbs for our Magic Valley is the Amaryllis. It takes very little care as long as the soil is well-drained and it gets 6-8 hours of sunlight. You can have it in a pot inside in sunlight or outside in a flower bed. It is perfect for our USDA planting/weather zone of 9b.

Double amaryllis blooms. Photos: Ann Johston / LFN

The amaryllis has a sturdy, tall stem with multiple flowers on the top. A big, healthy bulb can send up 2-3 stems with 2- 5 flowers each. There are more than 500 named varieties and as many variations of reds, whites, pinks, apricots, and oranges in the blooms. They come in lots of types of blooms such as singles, doubles, picotee (petals outlined with another color), cybister (spidery petals), ruffled petals, star-centered, and butterfly shaped.

Cybister type bloom.

SUGGESTIONS: Amaryllis are primarily known as Christmas season flowers, but they can be dug up, moved, and replanted in our Valley at any time of year. They will bloom about 8-10 weeks after planting.

• One of the latest innovations with amaryllis is to buy the bulb sealed in colored wax that keeps in the moisture and energy. It will grow with no soil or water! A very showy display. However this method will exhaust the bulb for any further growth.

Picotee type bloom.

• Gift boxes of a large bulb or baskets planted with bulbs are already available in numerous stores.

• Look up Amaryllis Lover’s catalog by Or for dozens of gifts selections or different types and colors of blooms.

Multiple blooms per bulb.

HINTS: A flower show winner would have four unblemished blooms on one stalk. The flowers would be opposite each other at perfect 90 degree angles. A stem with 5 blooms might also win a ribbon.

• Used as a cut flower, the blooms will stay for up to 3 weeks.

• If the bulb is allowed to grow and bloom in a shallow bowl of pebbles and water, it will revive if planted in soil after blooming.

• Cut off spent flowers about 1-2 inches above bulb.

• DO NOT trim leaves unless yellowed or dead. The bulb gets its “food” from the leaves through photosynthesis.

Come through the Garden Gate again next week for more gardening hints and suggestions for our Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Garden Club winner.
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